How I Handled A Grade School Bully...As A Mom
My Reaction and Action
An attack by my daughter's peer caught me off guard
Today I decided, like many warm, sunny days, to let my daughter play at the school playground after her Spanish class. We were there an hour after the bell rang, so the playground was mostly deserted. There alone was a little girl that was going to be my daughter's next best friend. She makes friends at the drop of a hat and has no qualms asking them any question that comes to mind or insisting they come along with her to play where she wants to. The little girl was more than happy to join her and so all was well. I had no phone, so I had no text, no games and had to just be with me...hard to do as of late. However, I was enjoying the sun, it doesn't come out but once every seven years in Seattle.
Turns out the little 'best friend' she was playing with had siblings who also were hanging around the playground...one younger brother, one older sister and one older brother, possibly more. I am minding my own business, while keeping an eye on my daughter and 'tanning'. Then from a distance I heard what I thought to be an odd comment coming from the older brother and his friends...something along the lines of..."keep your hands off my sister". Now the girls were playing on the bars and my daughter was helping the little one do turns or sit on it. This would require touching her. I let it go, not sure if that is exactly what I heard. Not five minutes later I got the verbal attack...It started with "hey you on the bench." I knew this wouldn't be good. First of all he was ruining my alone time and second my 'tanning' was now in jeopardy.
I don't like confrontation. I am not one that thrives from it, on the contrary I usually run from it. I was the passive aggressive type when younger and still have that skill to this day. So when I was all of a sudden struck with a myriad of foul language, my blood turned cold. He was pretty far away and had to yell this at me. The word 'bitch' was used quite repeatedly along with some other choice phrases. At this point we had been at the playground for at least 20 minutes if not more with no incident. This was out of the blue, not provoked and certainly not expected. I have never been verbally assaulted or otherwise at or near her school, nor in such a venomous fashion. My comment was "nice." Not in "nice to see you" but in"what the f***" nice. Well, that probably didn't help, so I decided the best course of action was just to get my child and go.
I was so angry though that I just had to ask the older girl sitting near by if he was related to her. Yes he is and she let me know he is always like this. It is sad, I can only imagine how difficult it is for the family to deal with this or possibly where he learned it. At the time, I couldn't have cared less however. To my credit, I did comment that he could use some counseling. People who know me will not be surprised by this comment. I discovered he is already in it. I thought this is good but he could use more...Then the little shit started up again. At this point I asked his sister for his name, his grade and the teacher he has. He was only in fourth grade! His sister said to me not to worry and that she will tell their mom when she gets home. That's all fine and dandy, but I wasn't done with him. So I asked my questions again. Armed with some of the information I asked for, I am good and ready to report his smart ass to the school office tomorrow.
As I was walking away with my daughter, again, he slung words that no child that age should be using, especially at an adult. I would have had my mouth washed out with soap and not been able to sit for a week! This was it, I was all done taking this crap from him. So I turned around, held both my hands over my head and yelled..."I KNOW YOUR NAME, I KNOW YOUR GRADE AND I KNOW YOUR TEACHER...SO SHUT UP!!!!", emphasizing each fact with my hands. This was not thought out in advance and I later wished something other than 'shut up' was used. Just as well, nothing else would have been anymore adult like. I didn't know his teacher and I don't have a last name and I couldn't see what he really looked like, but he didn't need to know this. I will find him tomorrow come hell or high water.
Afterwards my daughter was so impressed with my response, she repeated it, hand gestures and all. This continued all the way home and then some. I do hope she doesn't reiterate the story verbatim tomorrow at school, especially not with the hand gestures. Oh well, it shut him up. He didn't say another word.
I still feel the adrenaline writing this. This was a big step for me. I wanted to hit him which I know is a bad thing and he was too far away with too many friends anyway. I wouldn't have even if he had been standing right next to me...or so I believe. All bets are off if he goes near my daughter. So I took on a snotty little fourth grader and I don't feel bad nor fearful nor angry anymore. I believe I did the best I could in a bad situation and my daughter saw her mother stand up to a bully in a semi adult fashion. Well, it is progress not perfection. Maybe next time I can graduate to a fifth grade bully standoff. Until then, I will take pleasure in the fact that I wasn't walked all over and I didn't go to jail for assault.
So Shut Up! ( Just practicing)
After reporting this incident to the school office, to the credit of the school principal and the disciplinary system, the fourth grader was easily found and identified. I was called back immediately to give my side of things, steps were taken and consequences were given. I received an apology in writing. This was obviously written in the presence of authority and quite possibly with the threat of imprisonment in said office until completion. Either way, this young man will think twice, I pray, before barraging someone else with such harmful and hateful words. I am still ok with my reaction to this situation since I don't think about what I should have done. So, I will take this as a sign that my action was just and fair, did no harm to myself or others and I am my daughter's hero for today.
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